Pill-Poppers Flock to Florida

Drug dealers, abusers head south to take advantage of loose prescription regulations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 6:13 AM CDT
A recent report found that Florida is home to all of the top 50 oxycontone-prescribing doctors in the US.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Prescription drug abusers and dealers from across the eastern US have been hotfooting it to Florida to take advantage of the state's loose regulations, the Los Angeles Times reports. It’s the biggest state to not have a prescription monitoring program and hundreds of poorly regulated "pain clinics" do a brisk business selling drugs like oxycodone—an addictive opiate favored by traffickers—to out-of-staters.

Florida—whose physicians prescribe five times more oxycodone than the national average—has legislation pending to create a prescription database, but the state's House of Representatives has yet to pass it. Lawmakers and police from Appalachian states say they are dealing with an epidemic of Florida-sourced prescription-drug abuse and are pressing the state to take action.